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Anthro Ordinal Dresser {Knock Off Style}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Anthro Ordinal Dresser Knock Off
So, I have to be honest… When Jess and I told my hubs that we were taking his “Toolbox Dresser” he wasn’t thrilled (it’s been holding his tools in our garage for 5 yrs) and he might have been a tad skeptical that we could turn it into Anthro’s Dresser.  We’re a wee bit competitive, so he gave us just the challenge we needed.
Step 1:  Sanding
There were many layers of paint to remove.  Don’t be intimidated.  We got through white paint and the original glossy finish. We did use some 60 grit sandpaper because the higher numbers were just taking too long. Yes, it was 11 pm and yes, it was dark, but a girl’s gotta protect her eyes!
Each drawer needed to be sanded and then all of the framework for the dresser. Every trace of creamy white paint needed to go! (And No, we didn’t plan to wear matching, frumpy outfits…)
We used an orbital sander and a little mouse sander as well.  The mouse is great for getting into the nooks and crannies! We did have one minor injury, but that’s kind of expected when crafting at 11pm.
Step 2:  Template & Cut
We just free-handed a template of the little shape that we needed to cut on each drawer.  It was a bit annoying and took us a few tries to get it centered and even, but once we did, we just traced around it and were ready to cut.  For the bottom of the dresser, we needed to get rid of any scrolly-ness, so we drew on some straight lines and said, “bye bye old school scrolls!” as we cut.
Sometimes we’re a little intimidated by power tools, but the more we use them, the easier it gets.  We did all the cutting with a jigsaw.  It’s as simple as tracing a line (well…with a quickly moving blade!)
Step 3:  Create a Faux Metal Finish
While I was busy doing a jig (AKA jigsawing), Jess used a few spray paints to get the faux metal finish we were going for.  We used Rustolium’s Hammered Metal and Valspar’s Metallic Finish.
At first, it looked like graffiti gone wrong… So we added more of the metallic spray and then we used Martha Stewart acrylic paints in  copper and metallic turquoise.
And we liked the results much better. 
This is where we called it a night for work night number one.  It was about 1am… bedtime!
Step 4: Fill the Holes
The Anthro dresser didn’t have any holes, but unfortunately ours had 6 holes per large drawer.  Have no fear… mod podge is here! Using a little woodworkers trick, we took sawdust from the sander and added modpodge (glue was recommended, but I only had glue sticks).  Just mix it up until it’s nice and thick and can be molded with your hands.  The ratio was about 3:1 dust to modpodge.
We used the end of a kids paintbrush to neatly push it into each hole.  Two reasons this method rocks: #1- it’s FREE and # 2- it almost perfectly matched the wood because we were using sawdust from the same piece of wood.
Step # 5: Stain the Wood
Stain always scares me! It can ruin all your hard work.  BUT… at least we knew we could just sand it down again if we made a mistake (which we did).  The Anthro dresser had amazing wood tones and we needed to replicate that, so we used a grey stain that we had left over from the Farmhouse Table Remix.
And now for the mistake we made… See the big, globby brush mark of stain on the left?  FAIL!  We quickly learned that if we held the brush completely parallel to the wood and just barely touched it, we’d avoid ugly blobs.  When the staining was done, we did a quick sanding with some 120 and 220 grit, just to make it seem more natural. 
Step 6:  Poly Time
This is such a fun step because it gives instant gratification.  The second you brush it on it reveals all the rich, woody, goodness!
Step 7:  Add Numbers
We had purchased a stencil, but the font wasn’t a perfect match, so instead we printed letters using our printer and then traced them firmly with a pen to leave a tracing indent.  Oh, you think it’s hard to see?  We did too! I think I went a little blind trying to paint inside the lines.  We know there are other methods to do this, but once again it was past midnight and we were in “Get-er-done” mode.
The numbers looked a little bold at first, but the next morning we gave it a final sanding and made them look more weathered.  We also did a final coat of Poly once the numbers were finished.
Step # 7- Hardware
We had two extra drawers, so we decided to grab some cool hardware at Lowes.  We love how it fit with the style, but still made our piece a little unique.
Phew! That was a lot of work! Two very tired bloggers!
(Yes, we make our husbands take cheesy pics of us at midnight… poor guys!)
So there you have it… Ugly Dresser turned Anthro Ordinal!
We hope this has inspired you to look past what you see at first and unlock the potential in something you might already own! My hubs openly admits he was wrong and he was pretty impressed with what we did to his “Toolbox Dresser” (and don’t worry, we’ll buy him a new toolbox!)

The comments +

  1. Ellie says:

    That’s amazing!!! I would have never even seen the potential. WOW.

  2. Thanks Ellie! My husband took a little convincing, but we just knew we could make it work! Thanks so much for your comment and for reading our blog! 🙂

  3. Laurie says:

    WOWZA!!! {ew, did I just say that? lol} Seriously, looks BETTER then the original! Great Job!

  4. Thanks so much Laurie! We’re thrilled the dresser elicited a “Wowza” from you; definitely an awesome response!

    Thanks for reading our blog! Have a great night,

  5. Jessabells says:

    Love it!! Totally worth the late nights.

    Love your blog, I’m in Pa too! So happy to see Pa bloggers!


  6. I have a dresser exactly like that. Can you please come over and do that to it?!! 🙂

  7. Katie says:

    Now, that is an amazing transformation! Love your blog…

  8. Commented over on Sew Sang Cute but had to come over here and express how much I LOVE this transformation! Its beautiful. Stopping by from and following your blog! Come over and give us a visit some time 🙂

  9. Jes says:

    OK, I just knew that was your project! I totally voted that number one. Amazing!

  10. This was such a “knock your socks off” transformation! I am SO going to jig out some drawers on my next Furniture Makeover! Wanna come work with me in Dallas? 🙂

  11. I just wanted to come by and say WOW. I have never been so in love with a knock-off project. I mean I love it more than the original–a lot more. I loved the tutorial and now I really want to go buy a jigsaw saw and get awesome at it. I’m also a little intimidated by power tools so thanks! Great, great job. I voted for you and I’m glad you won.

  12. That is such a great project! I love how you did the stain. Turned out fantastic!!

  13. Wow I love it! The before/after pictures are so dramatic. You guys are funny too 🙂 I would love it if you would stop by and share at the crafty link party going on right now at Lines Across My Face.
    I hope to see you soon,

  14. nickys nook says:

    you did a great job i really like

  15. I am so in love!!! that is just gorgeous!! I’m a new follower and just shared this on Simply Cottage Love’s facebook page.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Outstanding! Seriously, you girls nailed it! Just the motivation I needed to get started on this one.


  17. Amanda says:

    holy moly!! that is AMAZING! I mean I literally gasped when I saw it! Beautiful!!!

  18. mimijack says:

    WOW! You go girls.

  19. Amanda says:

    Bravo! I did a knock off of the anthro one too, yours looks just like the original! Looks like a lot of work, but the results are so worth it.

  20. Fabulous Work!!! What artistic vision you have to transform that dresser in that way 🙂

  21. Incredible! That’s one of the most stunning furniture transformations that I’ve ever seen!

  22. Kei says:

    Wow! Such an awesome transformation!

  23. That’s SO funny! I had “pinned” that original piece from the store to my “to make” board and here it is with instructions! Thank you so much 🙂

  24. Alana Karl says:

    wow, seriously love your transformation!! as much as i love that anthro piece it is not worth their price tag…and i actually like your’s better 🙂

  25. B2 says:

    Super amazing! Like most, I wouldn’t have even conceived… inconceivable! Sorry, when opportunity strikes – must insert Princess Bride quote =P

    Again, great job!

  26. KellyH says:

    Yours is better than the Anthro version!!! I love it!

  27. Katie says:

    This. Is. Amazing!! You guys rock! Seriously love everything about this!! I featured you today!!

  28. Ok this is the coolest dresser!!! Great job!
    A very impressed new follower,
    Lina @ Fancy Frugal Life

  29. Excelent job! I like the fact you saw the potential to transform it, specially the drawers. Very impress! Great job! Thanks for show to us!

  30. This is amazing!! Great job! And making your own wood putty is so clever!! 🙂

  31. LOVE this! You have absolutely inspired me. I have no idea if I can do this on my own, but I am certainly going to try! Awesome!

  32. Carolyn says:

    I love this transformation. Y’all did an awesome job!

    I’m your newest follower 🙂

    {my simple messterpiece}

  33. Nathalie says:

    I LOVE this! I’m going to attempt this. And I have to say I think your makeover beats the Anthropology drawers… by far! Love it.

  34. Oh my gosh…this is seriously the coolest! I love the before and after pics…what a transformation! Thanks for the tutorial…y’all made me feel like I could actually buy a jigsaw and use it. 🙂 LOVE it!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Love this!! Great job ladies and I may just have to attempt it!

  36. Hattermad says:

    The Stain, the stain… what is the recipe?

  37. Karen Tuffy says:

    Love it Check out my Anthro knock off too….

  38. nawilloughby says:

    Ladies, this is the blog post that led me to your site. I am SO impressed, and seriously I’ve been on the blogosphere non stop all week looking at DIY projects, and this by far is THE BEST. I can’t wait to do this with this hideous chest of drawers of my husband’s. Thanks a bunch for your site and your projects. I’m definitely a follower.

  39. Lisa says:

    Could you please tell me what font you used for the numbers??? Thanks! Looks great!!!

  40. Wanted to stop by and let you know that I featured this project today in a roundup of Ordinal Dresser knockoffs. I did my own “Ordinal File Cabinet” before I started blogging, and just revealed it recently. I love seeing all the different ways people interpret the Anthro classic!

  41. Anonymous says:

    I have been wanting this Anthropologie dresser FOREVER! Now, thanks to you awesome gals, ( and one unused, old dresser in the basement) I will have it! Thank you! Oh, and do you know what the color of the stain was called?

  42. great!great! great!
    this looks like a new one! i wish icould do the same at my old furniture…

  43. Kimberly says:

    You two were funny…I love what you did with the dresser and it looks great. I think it looks better than the anthro. ; ]

  44. Love, love, love this! The drawers are sooo cool with the numbers and the new pull cutouts!

    Jenna @

  45. Lindy says:

    I LOVE THIS DRESSER!!! I have two dressers that need to be redone for my boys and instead of painting I think I may do soemthing like this. Thanks for the great idea!

  46. LetsEatCake says:

    Just came over from pinterest to see this transformation.
    Simply brilliant.

  47. MrsM says:

    Whats the stain color???? I cant find your farm table remix.

  48. Andrea says:

    This is amazing

  49. […] LINK: Anthro Ordinal Dresser {Knock Off Style}. […]

  50. Sandy says:

    Awesome! You have unbelievable creative vision!! I do a lot of furniture makeovers but I would have never thought to even try to change the one dresser into the Anthro Ordinal Dresser Knock off!! You are true artists!! Thanks for the inspiration!!! Brilliant!!!
    Sandy B

  51. Julie Shearer says:

    This is so Amazing! Great job ladies! Thanks for sharing.

  52. […] Instructions here. […]

  53. […] […]

  54. […] […]

  55. mary says:

    I loved your project……but noticed your TAYLOR shirt… this from Taylor university in Upland Indiana ???? The shirt looks familiar….I worked in the TU Bookstore for twenty years.

  56. ronda says:


  57. WOW! Great job!! probably one of my most favorite knockoffs I’ve seen so far!!!

  58. Constance Waid says:

    Wow! What a transformation! Love it!

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